Vinny Magalhaes: I don’t want to be just collecting checks, I want to move up in the rankings

The injury bug is so rampant these days in the UFC, that fans make more wagers on whether a fight will go through when…

By: Stephie Haynes | 11 years ago
Vinny Magalhaes: I don’t want to be just collecting checks, I want to move up in the rankings
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

The injury bug is so rampant these days in the UFC, that fans make more wagers on whether a fight will go through when it’s announced, than on the actual competition itself. Dana White has taken to calling it the UFC curse. In one of the latest stories, Forrest Griffin is out of his scheduled meeting with Phil Davis at UFC 155. No last minute replacement has been set, so the fight has been scratched from the card.

One man has been on an active Twitter campaign to get a fight with Davis, and that man is Vinny Magalhaes. Getting a fight isn’t as easy as it looks, and unfortunately, Vinny is on the bench, in a holding pattern. I recently spoke with Magalhaes to find out how the “Quest For Fight” is going.

I’ve just been helping Chael get ready for his fight and trying to get Joe Silva to give me a fight, but it’s just not happening any time soon. This is my second chance in the UFC. The first time, I did a shitty job, but I haven’t proved enough this time. I just had the one fight and now I’ve been waiting. Nobody’s getting any younger here, and I want to step up in competition. I don’t want to be fighting guys that I can easily beat, or that nobody knows.

I tried to get a fight with Matt Hamill, and Joe Silva liked the idea, and tried to put it together. When he contacted Hamill, he said, ‘I don’t want to fight until April or May because my girlfriend is pregnant.’ I don’t think that’s a good excuse to not take a fight. It should be the opposite. If your girlfriend is pregnant, you might as well take the fight so you have money. Maybe the pregnancy isn’t going well, and he needs to be with her, so I understand.

Now comes Phil Davis. He takes the fight against Forrest, but Forrest gets hurt. They tried to find him an opponent to fight on three weeks notice. Nobody is going to be taking fights against Top 10 guys with three weeks notice. I’ve been helping Chael, but haven’t been able to train three times a day myself, like I normally would. So basically, I’d have two weeks to train and one week to make weight.

I told them, I won’t take the fight now, but I would later, like in February. Joe was like, ‘Just call him out’, so I did. Phil would never respond. He did start following me, the day I called him out, but he never responded. Mark Beecher, who’s a Muay Thai trainer, was in Seattle with Matt Brown. He asked Joe Silva if the fight with Phil and me was going to happen. Joe says, ‘Well, I don’t think so, because I think Phil has family plans.’

Family plans? If it’s something huge, I can understand, but if it’s like a vacation or something, he should be like, ‘I’m gonna have to do this later because I have a fight.’ Then it would be a fair fight, because I would have a full training camp. I guarantee he’d take the fight for December, where he’d have the advantage. Now that I would have 8 – 10 weeks to train, he doesn’t want to take the fight. He wants to fight me while I’m out of shape so he can have more chances to win. He knows if he gives me a full camp, it’s not gonna be easy. Style-wise, I’m a horrible fight for him. That makes me real upset, and that’s why I’ve been calling him out on Twitter.

When suggested that maybe Phil wanted to fight Top 10 opponents, Magalhaes disagreed, stating that his willingness to fight Chad Griggs twice made that an invalid argument.

What Top 10 opponents was he going to fight? Chad Griggs? Chad Griggs just got tapped out by Cyrille Diabate, and Cyrille sucks on the ground. Griggs was fighting the guys with losing records, and Phil took that fight twice. Not just once, but twice. What Top 10 guys are you talking about? There’s nothing personal against Phil, I just want the fight.

I was with Dana last week, and I asked him if Ryan Bader was available. Everybody knows I want that fight. I’m not going for the easy fights. I’m going for the tough ones that I could also lose. I’ve only had the one fight since I’ve been back. How can I call him out if I don’t get a decent win? That’s why I want to fight guys like Hamill and Davis, that everybody knows. I don’t want to be out there collecting checks. I want to move up in the rankings.

There are guys that have been fighting for the UFC for years, but they’re not moving up. James Tehuna is coming off wins, but nobody knows who he is. If I were to fight Ryan Jimmo, it would probably be on Myspace, not even Facebook. Nobody wants to see Jimmo fighting.

Vinny isn’t one of those guys that lets friendship stand in the way of big opportunities. His friendship with Glover Teixeira wouldn’t take a hit from regular competition, but if a title was on the line, it would be a different story.

In a title situation, I would fight anybody. I’d fight my mother in that case. Me and Glover are good friends. To just get a fight, that’s not going to take either one of us anywhere, I don’t think we would fight. I don’t think it would be anything that would happen soon, unless there was a title in the picture.

You can follow Vinny via his Twitter account, @VinnyMMA

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About the author
Stephie Haynes
Stephie Haynes

Stephie Haynes has been covering MMA since 2005. She has also worked for MMA promotion Proelite and apparel brand TapouT. She hosted TapouT’s official radio show for four years before joining Bloody Elbow in 2012. She has interviewed everyone there is to interview in the fight game from from Dana White to Conor McGregor to Kimbo Slice, as well as mainstream TV, film and music stars including Norman Reedus, RZA and Anthony Bourdain. She has been producing the BE podcast network since 2017 and hosts four of its current shows.

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